In January 2013, I stopped eating wheat. Having experienced health issues, I gradually improved my diet to the point where I was eating all organic meat, almost all organic produce, green drinks and supplements. I felt better and better. I consulted with a nutritionist and everything was going really well.
My last blood test results hadn’t been so good. Instead of further improving my habits, I fell off the wagon. After a week of eating badly, I saw my nutritionist. She pointed out this often happens after an unexpected test result. I cried. I had come so far, I had done so well, felt much better and now I had gone and spoiled it all.
Plus, I still wanted to go get a calzone right after my appointment.
“Then have it,” she said.
What? Can I really?
Her main concern had always been how strictly I was sticking with my diet. I wasn’t allowing myself to veer off (except for chocolate). I could not imagine myself eating any other way ever again.
But current life stress was freaking me out and it was showing up in my food choices.
For the next 7 days she told me to eat whatever I want. Yes. Whatever. Only catch is, I have to ask myself ‘why’ I want it, and what does it make me ‘feel’.
Why did I want the calzone? I felt anger, anger, anger.
“Why anger?” she asked.
“I should have the right to eat what I want.” I said.
“What does eating the calzone make you feel?” she asked.
“Freedom. Normalcy. Like I’m normal again. [No health issues.]” I replied.
Getting in touch with the feelings, she said, will help me find a balanced way of eating again. If I wasn’t so strict and self-denying and I permit myself to ‘choose’ certain things despite their effects, it’s no longer a fight against temptation. It’s a negotiation.
“By the way, I’m surprised you lasted as long as you did, being so strict.” Really? “…and that you came to me so soon after falling off. Most people wait about 6 months.”
That made me feel better. I didn’t want the calzone any more. I was hungry (it was past lunch time), but I really wanted to get in touch with what I was feeling. I went for a walk and sat by the lake for almost an hour, pondering all of this.
I began feeling more like having a big salad with chicken strips at Boston Pizza instead. After dwelling on food, feelings and reasons, I stuck with the calzone. I also got caesar salad. With croutons.
The other part of the nutritionist’s deal was to eat mindfully: to bring my attention fully to the food, no distractions. My mind wandered constantly. When I could remember to bring it back to the food, I did so with the Ho’oponopono words, “I love you. Thank you.”
I ate every last morsel.
About an hour later, I had some chocolate, too.
Today, it was a falafel pita, full of veggies. Not quite as bad.
Plus chocolate, of course.
I wonder what food and feelings will come up for me tomorrow.
© July 12, 2013 | Annie Zalezsak